On Thursday, the Constitutional Council ruled in favor of the French Labor Code, finding that it does not infringe on the principles of the Constitution. The decision upheld a recent judgment that under European law, labor law will have to be revised so that employees on sick leave acquire paid leave, regardless of the circumstances. Labor Minister Catherine Vautrin promised to comply with European legislation once the decision is known.
In January, State representative indicated that he wanted to limit the acquisition of paid leave by employees on sick leave to four weeks per year, corresponding to the minimum duration at European level. The Sages had to determine whether two articles of the Labor Code infringed on the right to health and rest and the principle of equality. The Council dismissed complaints based on disregard for these principles.
Employer representatives had defended current French legislation before the Council, estimating that acquiring paid leave during sick leave costs companies at least 2 billion euros per year. However, in December, Medef president Patrick Martin obtained assurances from the Ministry of Labor that “the future compliance law” would limit the accumulation of paid leave during periods of shutdown illness to four weeks per year, accompanied by “a right to carry over leave over a period of 15 months.”
For CGT union leader: “If today’s decision is obviously disappointing – a symbolic censorship would have been welcome – it does not change anything in terms of rights currently applicable to employees.” The union highlighted this in a press release after the decision was announced.